Free booze and not a lot of food – a review on Covent Garden’s new pasta place on its opening night.
‘Mi scusi’ – which literally translates as ‘excuse me’, is one of the most famous sustainable chain of restaurants around northern Italy. It’s highly praised around the Italian younger generation for its delicious but affordable pasta dishes, bruschette and tasty entrees. Its signature, funky plates and simple, high quality raw materials make it a proper pillar of Italian culture.
If a new Italian pasta restaurant is opening in London, you have to make sure to mark the day in your calendar. And if this new Italian restaurant is promising everybody free food and drinks on its opening night, then you are obliged to grab your dearest friends by their arms – and throats – and drag them with you.
That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday the 1st of December when ‘Mi Scusi’ threw a party lit up by Covent Garden’s Christmas lights.
Alternative music blasted through the speakers while waiters danced around Slinsgly Place showering the hundreds of people that showed up with house wine, beer and free stickers.
However, while alcohol was flowing right and left, the only free food that was offered to guests were a couple of tiny bruschette, with no promised pasta samples in sight.
The wait to have actual paid dinner inside the restaurant was about 45 minutes, the queue to get on the booking list never-ending.
While the wait in the cold, sparkly and Christmassy London was a rather pleasant scenery to have a chat with your friends and meet new people, the news that all the bookings made up until that point somewhat disappeared came like a lightning bolt on a perfectly blue, summery sky.
And just like that the atmosphere in the tiny alley of Covent Garden completely changed; flowing alcohol and empty stomachs were the protagonists of a picture that I won’t paint but it didn’t really leave much to the imagination. People got wild, and the restaurant staff were absolutely crazy trying to keep things under control.
At that point, it was time for us to surrender. With no cosy, warm restaurant and pasta dinner to look forward to, Mi Scusi’s opening night didn’t really sound as exciting anymore.
So, even if Mi Scusi won’t be excused for making everybody’s mouths water with broken promises of food samples on their grand opening, the new Italian restaurant definitely deserves a second chance that, quite honestly, I can’t wait to give them.
Words and picture: Rachele Petrocchi | Sub-editing: Tia Janowski